MIYAVI Live in Boston: Merchandise

The full report is almost finished, don’t worry! I didn’t rest at all when I got home, I just raced in from the car and started blogging and uploading pics. Uploading and editing the pics took a little longer than expected, which is why the write-up isn’t finished yet. Should be up today or tomorrow at the latest. In the meantime, here are some shots of the merchandise available for this  tour.

Poster (sorry, I cropped it slightly)

I was slightly disappointed when reading other live reports from this tour, as some of the other locations didn’t get the poster as an option. Was quite glad when I saw that they did have it, although it came at the cost of the missing wrist-bands.

Men's T-shirt

The back of the men’s T-shirt. They always call the white t-shirts “girls'” and the guys’ sizes “unisex” which doesn’t make sense to me. They should just say M and W, because that’s what they are. The white T-shirts and girl’s tank-tops were both sold in junior (AKA Japanese) sizes, and the “unisex” shirts ran S,M,L in normal (male) American sizes.

Guy's (technically ALL clothes are unisex if you think about it the way these people apparently do) tank-top

Front of the guy’s tank-top. The front is the same as the T-shirt, but the back doesn’t have the locations listed on it, just the MYV382 emblem up by the nape. The S is a little big on me (don’t say anything, I know, I know…), which I usually cannot abide, however in the case of tour-shirts I make special allowances. Wish they had an XS, though.

Just as a side note, the girl’s tank-tops were a different style. They looked like that ordinary stretchy ribbed fabric. Fabric on this one, as you can see, is just straight cotton.

Detail of the shirt graphics

I also got the pen as a last-minute impulsive decision, and I’m actually really glad that I did. It writes really smoothly, and is a good quality tool. I didn’t think I would actually end up using it, but I figured even once the ink runs out I can keep it.

If you tip it upside down, the guitar drains so that he's holding a katana instead. BA.

Here are several pictures of the MIYAVI tote bag which has been an insanely popular item for the tour. I didn’t pick one up, personally, because money doesn’t grow on trees, and because I already have a Visual Kei tote bag which doesn’t need unfair competition.

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I do really dig the graphics on the bag. The shirts are all really busy, graphic-wise, but the emblem here is so crisp and clean, and the way the font for the kanji is designed makes it look so cool. I also really like just the straight-up no frills -MIYAVI- printed at the bottom.

”]Tote-bag images by 藤島明輝子さん (Fujishima Akiko-san). Thanks very much  for letting me publish these on Secret Garden!

Poster: $10, pen: $10, tank-top/t-shirt: $30. I think people were hoping the tank-tops would be cheaper than the t-shirts. Well, they weren’t. I also overheard some people talking in the merchandise line about how why should they spend $30 on a tank-top when they could buy the base shirt for $2 at Walmart and just write MIYAVI’s name on it. I covered this issue previously in a post, but since hearing that remark Friday night, and now that we’re talking about merchandise, I guess I’ll mention it again.

It is true that you could probably make your own T-shirt for less than they sell for at the merchandise stand at a show. It’s true that you can custom-make your own posters using some services now. With the added availability of photoshop and other editing software, you can even probably make it look pretty legit. However, when you custom-order a MIYAVI-themed T-shirt from some company, maybe it costs you $15 instead of $30. That’s $15 that goes to some random company you could care less about. In my eyes, I’d rather be an extra $15 or $20 or $30 poorer and know that the extra cost is going to supporting the artist who I truly admire. In the 2.5 hour show, the gift that MIYAVI gives with his time, energy, and performance is so truly priceless, that by the time you stagger back to the merchandise stand for the final time before heading out into the moonlit streets of some dingy random neighborhood, there’s no way you could feel like you could ever give back what you received.


Calendar Makes Revolution

Ahhh….There’s truly nothing that brings a greater sense of relief and well-being than that of having one of those perfect brown packages just radiating air-mail show up with the usually mundane postal offerings. All of the angst, all of the nail-biting worry, all of the depression on Sundays and holidays, suddenly eases away on a cloud of effortless thrill and relaxation. Of course, the trick is to be really suave about it. It’s like, “Oh…this old thing? Just my order from Japan.”

Yeah right.

It was a tough decision that took some time considering, that of which calendar I was going to order. Last year I impulsively stated somewhere that I was going to order 3 (a comment which was newly resurrected, and observed with some horror by my shuddering, malnourished, pale piggy-bank). Unfortunately at 34.00$ (don’t flee in horror– it includes shipping, at least) a piece, having 3 calendars is just not economically sound. I had to narrow it down, and then settle it. After some consideration, I came to the conclusion that, seeing as I had GACKT up last year, it was time for something new and refreshing. My choice was, then, completely obvious: the eternally cool T.M.Revolution.

At first I was a bit hesitant because I’m not necessarily a fan of Nishikawa Takanori’s work as T.M.R– although I am very familiar with his work therein, my true respect and appreciation of his character came from listening to a.b.s (as many of you know, I’m sure.) When I was trying to decide which calendar to get, part of the problem was that I wasn’t sure whether Nishikawa’s photos were going to be in Gundam outfits, or schoolboy suits.

The answer is…He’s not wearing either. I suppose, what with he and GACKT becoming all “second generation” and “big brotherly” in the music scene, at this point it’s pretty safe to say that the days of the Gundam body-suits may be over for the celebrated artist. However, be that as it may, Nishikawa has done an excellent job of preserving his glamorous personality as the mighty revolutionary, as well as pleasing those of us a.b.s fans poking a tentative toe in the direction of his solo activities (or at least his calendar).

Although certainly of a more glamorous, stylized affect than the natural shots preferred by GACKT, all of the photos featured in the T.M.Revolution 2010 Official Calendar are excellent– cute, tough-guy, bad-boy, suave, cool, and effeminate (if you were ever vexed by the intrusive expression of normalcy’s curiosity, AKA the  ‘Is that a chick? question’  before, expect it to escalate now…); it’s all there in the 6 pages that will grace my wall for the year. I should actually say, don’t let the front cover page deceive you. You won’t find the man in another simple black suit like this through the rest of the calendar. He gets all glitzed up, with pulled-back hair and smoky eye-makeup to boot.

As you can see in the image, the date-grid runs vertically along the side of the page, making it easier to cut off the dates for later use as posters, if you wish. (Note: this was my only complaint about the GACKT ’09 calendar; the dates ran along the bottom, making it impossible to remove the dates without shortening and marring the image itself.)

Japanese calendars are large (A2 size): 27 1/2″ (71 cm) tall, with a 1/2″ metal binding at the top, and 20″ (50 cm) wide. There is a small hook on the metal grid that you unfold for ease of hanging. The style of date-grid and its presentation on the page vary from calendar to calendar. Pages are durable poster-weight paper with a matte finish, and all images are excellent quality.

All in all, I’m perfectly happy with my decision to get the T.M. calendar, and I shall enjoy the view for the rest of the year. Both fans of his solo work, as well as his a.b.s work, ought to be satisfied with the selection of images, as they all hold neutral, stylish, attractive ground. So get your calendar! You won’t regret it.

Tips:

The pages of the calendar aren’t perforated, so in order to change the months you have a few options. I, personally, like to take the calendar down and lay it on a flat, sterilized surface. I stick something flat, but that wont get cut through, between the passed month and the arriving one, and carefully use an Exacto knife to cut along the metal binding and remove the page. If done carefully, this shouldn’t harm the pages in any way, and you can hang them up as posters, or roll them up or stick them in a large portfolio case for storage.

Option 2, suggested by karadin: Leaving the metal hook folded in, very carefully fold the page back over the metal binding, and secure with a binder clip (available at most office-supply stores). You can then hang the calendar by the loops of the clip. However– note that most binder-clips have a very strong grip, and hanging the calendar this way may result in a slight dent or crimping by the clip grip.

Also, this might be a no-brainer, but the calendars come tightly rolled and wrapped in plastic. Last year I did the ineffective and, honestly, kind of silly thing and laid the calendar out flat with a dictionary on each end. That takes forever. This time I just rolled the calendar up opposite to how it was previously rolled, cancelling out the curl. Hold it in place with a rubberband and leave it for a little while. It should unroll flat and hang perfectly fine.

+ Happy Find +

+Happy Find!+ For Jpop, Jrock, and Visual Kei official goods, try The Official Shop. A Japanese company that sells some official goods– mostly official photo-cards “digiphoto” [89 x 127mm in size], and magazines. Digiphotos sell for JPY 150 for one, or JPY750 for a set of 5, and are only available for set periods, so if you see something you like, snap it up before it’s too late.

Website in English. Prices in Japanese yen.

http://www.the-official-shop.com/